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Rule of 33

Dr. Pat describes his Rule of 33 when deciding whether to read or buy a book:

I start at the top of page 33 and read no further than page 35. The story should be well underway by then, and I can get a real sense of the writer’s style and ability to draw me into the story. Together with the cover notes, cover art (ghastly or ultra-mystic cover art sends the book right back to the shelf, without application of the rule), I can build my personal library with few missteps.

From that same weblog, a service called Book that Blog . This is the next logical step for blogging (and in fact I am working on a similar kind of service), but the problem is that lots of blogs aren’t well suited for book form. They are too casual/too disconnected/too intertextual. Also, too topical. Ironically, the best books of blogs (aside from erotic blogging, photo blogging and poetry blogging, which are genres in and of themselves) are those by the worst bloggers (i.e those who make long infrequent posts). Good idea, and hope something good comes from it, but the problem is not the POD side but the content side.

Is Dave Winer going to be more influential than the Beatles? My response: It all boils down to copyrights. Beatles copyrights are rigorously enforced. Dave Winer doesn’t care.

John C. A. Bambenek on why Gitmo detainees can’t and shouldn’t be tried in US courts. (I respond at the bottom).

Mark Fletcher on the perils on starting up a company in stealth mode.

But creating a new web service is not rocket science and does not take a lot of time or money. My rule of thumb is that it should take no more than 3 months to go from conception to launch of a new web service. And that’s being generous.

Hit & Run people mock the flag burning amendment. One of the funniest things I’ve read on the net:

I remember when this last came up for discussion, when I was in college, some guy supported the amendment on the grounds that “Marines FOUGHT and DIED to plant that flag on Iwo Jima!”

“No, they didn’t,” I said. “They fought and died to take control of Iwo Jima away from the Japanese. If all they wanted to do was plant the damn flag, don’t you think Roosevelt and Tojo could have reached an agreement? ‘Hey, Tojo, you guys can keep the island, but we’d just like to send six marines and a LIFE Magazine photographer there to plant the flag and take an iconic picture. How does that work for you?”

I felt so sorry for that guy; it was after the Cold War and before 9-11, so the poor devil had no idea which enemy to accuse me of being in cahoots with.

Update: See also John Scalzi’s satirical look at it.